Police officers could become the latest victims of Broadmeadows’ parking shortage, with parking spaces currently used by police set to be returned to Hume council next month.
Broadmeadows police park their private cars in council-owned carparks around the Broadmeadows town hall.
Hume council said the long-standing agreement with Victoria Police was put in place on the condition that the parks be returned to council once the town hall opens. The revamped town hall is due to open next month.
Hume local area commander Inspector Anthony Brown wrote to Hume councillors raising concerns that his staff would be left with nowhere to park from October.
Inspector Brown urged the council to help him find a solution to the parking problem.
The parking shortage in Broadmeadows has been an ongoing issue, with the Broadmeadows Revitalisation Board recommending the state government act urgently to provide more parking in the Broadmeadows activity centre.
The council and VicRoads have been negotiating the use of the Camp Road loop site – a raised road that takes traffic from Pascoe Vale Road to the Camp Road overpass – for parking, which would be created under the road.
However the proposal reached an impasse after VicRoads suggested the council pay $9 million for the site.
Speaking at Hume’s September 9 council meeting, Cr Naim Kurt said Inspector Brown was concerned the parking shortage would impact his ability to retain staff at Broadmeadows.
“The safety of police officers travelling to and from their workplace by private vehicle is a serious concern and there have been incidents in the past where off-duty police members were stalked,” Cr Kurt said.
“Over the years, the local police command in Broadmeadows has had success in attracting quality staff to the command which has helped to reduce crime locally. [This] is now at threat with the reduction in car spaces with the opening of the town hall.
“This is potentially going to have an effect on the safety of people locally if it means a reduction in the police force.”
However a Victoria Police spokeswoman said alternative parking arrangements have been made in the vicinity of the police station.